Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Susan, Midwife

"Baby rats! Mommy! Baby rats!"

A few days ago, Lorelei's treasured rat Daisy (the replacement of Diego, who died suddenly)....well, Daisy also died suddenly. The thing that made it even more heartbreaking was that she had been pregnant and was so when we bought her. We found her a few days ago, just dead. I turned her over, and it looks like she had hemorrhaged or a baby had gotten stuck in the birth canal.
Yesterday, we went back to the store to pick out something else for Lorelei. We were looking at other animals, but we were drawn to the rats. And not just rats...dumbo Rex rats. Dumbos have big round ears (you know, like Dumbo) and Rex coloring is just like a Siamese. Very cute.
I wanted Lorelei to get a female, Lorelei wanted a male. So we got both. Pearl is mine, Stanley is Lorelei's.
We knew Pearl was pregnant (it was fairly obvious). Rats have a gestation of about 3 weeks, but without a starting date, it's hard to tell when the blessed event will take place.

Fast forward:
"Baby rats! Mommy! Baby rats!"
I grabbed the camera and ran upstairs to the cage.

She had already delivered three by the time we discovered them.
I just realized the date on my video is wrong...today is the 17th.


Anonymous said...

Congratulations to you all. As a former Labrador breeder, I would have SUCH a hard time not helping. Pearl seemed to do it all on her own. My dogs NEVER did that! Sigh. They are perfectly little pink nubbins. Enjoy!

Susan Gets Native said...

I know what you mean, Liza. As I watched her writhe and give birth to yet another one, stepping on her babies, I wanted to reach in there and snatch them up. But all I did to help her was to remove some of the bloody paper towels and give her some fresh. 95% of the time, rats don't need our help. But things can happen. I watched her until I thought she was done.
They ARE perfect. Amazing.

Trixie said...

Whoa! That is seriously cool! I don't think I have ever seen baby rats before. They are teeny.

Kitt said...

No, rats don't need no help birthin' babies! (Well, I guess Daisy did, sorry.)

How exciting for Lorelei!

Mary said...

How sweet. I love Lorelei's comments and expression - pure little girl joy! Glad they are all OK - all seven!

I had a gerbil breeding operation for a few years when Gina was young. One day Michael bought Gina two gerbils (male/female by chance). Soon after we had ten gerbils. No long after that, we had 25 in two aquariums. I made trips to the pet store to unload them regularly. Some died and each one of them had proper burials in the back yard.

Exciting, I know! But I was glad when it all came to an end...

Susan Gets Native said...

Whoops. Checked on them this morning.

NatureWoman said...

11, wow, she's one busy mother!! This is so cool, Susan, and very nice that Lorelei experienced it, too!

KatDoc said...

Eleven babies from one Momma rat? What did she do, take fertility drugs or something? Jeez!

So sweet to hear Lorelei's excited little whispers in your video. (Did I tell you I can now see and hear videos?)

Lynne said...

Awww... They look like little pink jelly beans!
Lorelei, so sweet!

KGMom said...

The best part, for me, in watching the video is hearing you and your daughter--showing the pure joy of new life.